A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Nasser Lives! And He's Counting the Votes

We all know we saw this coming:
As I've already said, I don't even think it's that bad a constitution. It's the Old Style Middle East referendum process that bugs me. These are Nasser era results. Sadat scaled down to the low 90s sometimes because 98% was, well, incredible.  Mubarak might have had one or two down in the mere upper 80s. (On the other hand Saddam Hussein, in the last referendum before his fall, threw caution to the wind and claimed the full 100%.)

In 2012, Morsi won the Presidency with 51% of the vote. Many who voted for him came to regret it and support his overthrow, but this many? I think most voters do want stability, order, and a period of calm. But these numbers defy belief. Maybe they'll dial it back a bit in the final, official results.

Turnout is also an issue; it's being estimated in the 50% range, which is probably realistic and may not be inflated. The results could even be credible if all the "no" voters were intimidated into staying home or boycotting.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Since Gen. Sisi declared that the results of this referendum would be a mandate for him to run, if/if the armed forces indicated that they were happy with that, I guess we don't need a presidential election.

For the anti-MBs, this was their party and they didn't encourage their opponents to get involved, much less allow them to put up "No" signs in public. In fact, cooler heads across the anti-constitution referendum spectrum likely stayed home.

As for Morsi's 51% win in 2012, remember that he was running against another candidate who was equally detested by the majority of voters. Looking at it another way, 75% of voters with a variety of choices, chose someone other than Morsi in the first round [ditto for Shafiq]and 50% voted for neither in that first vote.